Birthday Reviews: Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s “Gypped”
Cover by Jack Coggins
Lloyd Biggle, Jr. was born on April 17, 1923 and he died on September 12, 2002.
Biggle was nominated for the Hugo Award for his short story “Monument” and for the William Atheling, Jr. Award for Criticism or Review for his essay “The Morasses of Academe Revisited.” He was a musician and oral historian and helped found and run the Science Fiction Oral History Association. He was also the founding treasurer of the Science Fiction Writers of America.
His first published short story was “Gypped,” which was bought by H.L. Gold and published in the July 1956 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. It was translated into French for an appearance in the French edition of the magazine the following year. Its only other appearance was in the anthology Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads, edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial.
“Gypped” is the story of a bureaucrat assigned a desk in a distant backwater. Occasionally he has to deal with strange cultural requests and in order to make his life easier, he sends people on wild goose chases covering many light years, figuring that if they ever returned, he could deal with the situation then. In the meantime, he continues his work reasonably uninterrupted and amuses himself by thinking of the places he’s sent people.